Mike Tomlin Doesn't Rule Out a Comeback for Aaron Smith

Mad ChadAnalyst IOctober 26, 2010

CINCINNATI - SEPTEMBER 27:  Aaron Smith #91 of the Pittsburgh Steelers is pictured during the NFL game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on September 27, 2009 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Courtesy of ESPN and the Mike Tomlin press conference, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin says that Aaron Smith might not be done for the year.

"It was partially torn and it was fixed. He's going to be out for an extended period of time, and at this juncture we're going to wait that out. Aaron's a quality player, a veteran leader for us, and if there's hope that he will return, then of course we're going to be hopeful as long as we possibly can. That's our mentality as we sit here today."- Mike Tomlin

Aaron Smith, 34, was knocked out of the game against the Miami Dolphins with torn triceps, and had to get surgery to repair it.

I've said for years that Smith is one of the most underrated players in the entire NFL, and is also one of the best 3-4 defensive linemen of all time. He is consistent and is devastating against the run.

Smith suffered season-ending injuries in 2007 and 2009, and his absence was very noticeable.

Now, there is a time-table, but my understanding is that this is generally a 6-8 week recovery. So, with possible atrophy setting in on that arm for quite a while, I think the best we can hope for is an in-football-shape return would be for the playoffs. 

In the meantime, former first-round pick Ziggy Hood will get a chance to start and prove his worth. Expectations were very high for Hood when he was drafted, but he has had a difficult time adjusting to the Steelers' 3-4 scheme.

Other good news for the Steelers is that Brett Keisel and LaMar Woodley could both return this week, as the Steelers travel to New Orleans to take on the Saints. If Keisel cannot go, the Steelers will be missing both of their starting defensive ends against the defending champs.

Nick Eason will start if Kiesel can't go.


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